Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Venezuela and the Obama Administration retrograde Latin America policies

Mark Weisbrot in How Not to Win Friends in Latin America US News & World Report 03/18/2015 explains how the Obama Administration's confrontational, pro-regime-change position toward Venezuela may not be as contradictory to the more accommodating policy toward Cuba as it appears on the surface:

It is only inconsistent if one sees the opening to Cuba as the beginning of a change in overall U.S. strategy for the region, one that seeks to reconcile with the huge hemispheric political shift that has taken place in the 21st century, and is sometimes known as Latin America’s “second independence.” President Rafael Correa of Ecuador succinctly expressed the regional governments’ disgust with the latest sanctions, saying that it “reminds us of the darkest hours of our America, when we received invasions and dictatorships imposed by the imperialists.” He then asked, “Can’t they understand that Latin America has changed?” The short answer to his question is no. Washington is still some ways away from the hemispheric equivalent of Nixon’s trip to China in 1972, which was not just about beginning a process of opening diplomatic or commercial relations but also about coming to grips with the new reality that an independent “Communist China” was here to stay.

Even as the normalization of relations with Cuba proceeds, the White House plans to continue funding “democracy promotion” programs within the country – as well as numerous others in the region. [my emphasis]

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